Maddie Groves Fires New Shots at Swimming Australia President Kieren Perkins

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Maddie Groves Fires New Shots at Swimming Australia President Kieren Perkins

Two months after she withdrew from the Australian Olympic Trials due to claims of misogyny within Swimming Australia, 2016 Olympic silver medalist Maddie Groves has fired shots at Kieren Perkins, the President of Swimming Australia. Through social-media posts, Groves called out Perkins, a multi-time Olympic champion, for ignoring cultural problems within Australian swimming.

In an interview last month, which followed a superb performance by Australia at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Perkins indicated that he was pleased with the current state of the sport Down Under. At one point in his interview with the Nine Network’s Wide World of Sports, Perkins said he would “defy anyone to suggest there’s a cultural issue in swimming at the moment.” He also stated: “That doesn’t mean that we’re perfect, it doesn’t mean there’s not challenges, but to suggest that there’s some kind of deep, endemic issue is miles away from the mark.”

Those comments from Perkins disturbed Groves, who used Instagram to form a rebuttal. Swimming Australia has created an independent unit to investigate the claims of Groves that misogyny is present, and has been demonstrated by some high-ranking coaches in the country. The results of the investigation will be released when it is concluded. Groves was particularly bothered by the fact that Perkins would “defy” any suggestions of cultural issues while the investigation is underway.

“How could anyone trust that Kieren will act on the report when he is already openly denying there are problems despite already being told about them,” Groves said. “Is this the right person to lead Australia’s premier Olympic sport into the future. I don’t think so.”

Groves noted that she provided information to Perkins about misconduct when she had a meeting with the president in June.

“I also mentioned that I had received a significant number of messages from people reporting misconduct in Australian Swimming and at that time several people were willing to sign sworn affidavits outlining misconduct.

“Despite knowing this, and the fact there is an ongoing investigation going on into Swimming Australia, Kieren thought it was appropriate to say these things publicly.

“When this article came out, I had people contact me saying they no longer felt comfortable making a submission because of these comments.”

3 comments

  1. avatar
    Verram

    She needs to name names and stop this mud slinging on social media .. going around in circles

    • avatar
      Terry

      It’s not “mud slinging” by Ms. Groves, she is not required to put the names out publicly, and she is not the only one raising issues. “Hell Month” allegations and other issues (weight shaming, militarism, etc.) have already been the subject of multiple reports in regular Australian media. The allegations have just never been reviewed by an independent panel. Do your own research and you will find at least one of the names.

  2. avatar
    Ralph

    It would help if Maddie named the individual(s), then a proper investigation could proceed.

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